Former Manchester City Council chief executive Howard Bernstein has joined the board of the residential developer as a non-executive chairman.
In his role with Vita, he will work on the strategic direction of the company’s residential brands, Vita Student, CitySuites, and a forthcoming live-work offering.
Bernstein departed as chief executive of Manchester City Council in April 2017; on leaving his role with the council, Bernstein said any future appointment would see him “work for the benefit of Manchester”.
Other positions he holds include a paid role with Deloitte’s strategic advisory team, as a development advisor to City Football Group, and as an advisor to the University of Manchester. He was recently appointed to the HS2 review committee.
Commenting on his appointment at Vita Group, Bernstein said: “I’m delighted to join the Vita Group Board at such a pivotal stage of growth.
“Creating forward-thinking housing and spaces around the needs of cities is a critical enabler for economies to thrive, and it ensures a resilient business model as the needs of the urban environment continually evolve.
“I have been consistently impressed with the living experiences created by Vita Group, along with their pace of growth and commitment to placemaking.”
Vita Group chief executive Mark Stott added: “Sir Howard’s vision has transformed Manchester in recent decades. We are privileged to have his unrivalled experience as we pursue ambitious projects across the UK and overseas. Sir Howard’s guidance on our international growth strategy is an immediate priority for the group.”
Last month, Vita Group sold eight assets, including four in Manchester, as part of a £600m deal with Deutsche Bank’s asset management arm DWS. This deal included the Vita Student block at First Street, totalling 279 flats, and the three Vita properties at Circle Square, totalling around 1,100 student bedrooms.
Vita will continue to manage and operate the buildings on behalf of DWS.
Vita also partnered with Allied London in June to refresh plans for the Nickel and Dime residential towers at Enterprise City; these are being redesigned having originally been set to reach 36 storeys.